This is a general catchup post – its been a busy year for work, and with Covid, I haven’t been doing a ton of interesting things. But me and my friends from College did get together in September and I promised myself to do a bit better with posting updates than I have been previously.
I am going to save the San Diego trip for a complete and separate post. This one will be a bit of a bookend miscellanea.
First off – in July, Claire and Dave Brown came out to Boston and we had the opportunity to hang out for a whole weekend. Awesome. Claire was out for the week attending a work conference and Dave came in for the last few days for some vacation activity. On Saturday we met up and took a tour of Fenway Park, which was super interesting. Fun tour guide. Very, very hot and humid however! Followed up with some random wandering around Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market (which has changed a bit from pre-Covid. I suspect they had a hard time with no tourists for the past few years – but they seem to be doing better).
On Sunday we went and visited the Revolutionary War battlefield sights which are about 5 miles from my house. First off, we visited the Old North Bridge and then the Old Manse. At the Old Manse we took the hour tour and man was it good – so good! really recommend it
pulling from their website: https://thetrustees.org/place/the-old-manse/
To visit the Old Manse—a handsome Georgian clapboard built on the banks of the Concord River in 1770—is to re-experience pivotal moments in our nation’s early history. Constructed for patriot minister William Emerson, the upstairs overlooks North Bridge, where the famous battle of April 19, 1775, took place. Later, some of New England’s most esteemed minds found inspiration inside its walls. In the 19th century, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Nathaniel Hawthorne both called the Manse home for a time: Emerson drafted his influential essay “Nature” in an upstairs study. Meanwhile, Hawthorne and his wife, Sophia, started their married life here; the recreated heirloom vegetable garden was originally planted by Henry David Thoreau in honor of the Hawthornes’ wedding.
Because I am a moron, I neglected to take any photos of the Old Manse itself – but you can go to their website above to learn more about it.
We then went to the Colonial Inn in the center of Concord (about a mile) for lunch. Love that place and the air conditioning was much needed – haha https://www.concordscolonialinn.com/photo-gallery/
After a good lunch, we went over to the Park Headquarter on Battle Road (the road back to Boston, where the Colonials put the Regulars / Red Coats under heavy fire all day as they marched back to Boston). The headquarters had a very, very interesting multimedia movie that set the stage strongly for the Ranger led tour we also signed up for. That was super interesting as it was mostly focused on recent archeological research they have been doing https://www.nps.gov/mima/index.htm
Specifically, they have been researching the site of “Parker’s Revenge” https://www.nps.gov/mima/learn/news/archaeology-report-released-on-parkers-revenge.htm
Parker was the head of the Lexington Militia and it was his men who participated in the battle of Lexington Green that was the first battle of the Revolution. The men of Lexington did not fair well in that initial meeting and after re-gathering, they met the British Regulars on their way back to Boston. The location of that meeting has been debated as it is extremely lightly documented at the time. Just that it happened. See the link above for the archeology and the story. One of the things we all found interesting was that Park Ranger pointed out to everyone that the land is very different now than it was during the 1770’s. Currently everything is very heavily wooded – but that wasn’t the case in 1775. Most of the land was opened up for farming and grazing for economic purposes – and also wood being used for cooking and heating! This matches up with my own experiences in terms of how much the woods have filled in during my own lifetime. When I was young, the oldest farmers were just dying out and the area was moving towards commuter / bedroom communities and the fields were filling in. The Ranger pointed this out and how it impacted their archeology attempts once people wised up to that.
Finally we ended the day by visiting the Hartwell Tavern on the Battle Road https://www.nps.gov/places/hartwell-tavern-1733.htm and the virtual tour: https://www.nps.gov/mima/learn/historyculture/tour-hartwell-tavern.htm
This was actually super neat. It was the end of the day, about 4:30pm and very quiet. We walked up the wooded lane towards the Tavern and as we got closer, we could hear someone playing the fiddle – solo. It turned out to be one of the Park re-enactors who was bored because there was nobody around – so he was playing a jaunty tune. It felt very much like a step back in time – much less people around than normal, no modern world noise and you walk up a wooded dirt lane to a lone Tavern on the hill and there is music and fun coming from it as you get closer. We had a good time talking with the him and he was glad to have us as the last visitors of the day.
Overall – a super good weekend!
see this link to my other visit a few years ago to the Tavern: http://sixthelement.org/wordpress1/2018/01/07/minus-11-degrees/